Dobrinka Tabakova is a composer of ‘exciting, deeply moving’ music (Washington Times), with ‘glowing tonal harmonies and grand, sweeping gestures [which] convey a huge emotional depth’ (The Strad). She has been commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society, BBC Radio 3 and the European Broadcasting Union. Her debut profile album String Paths, on ECM Records, was nominated for a Grammy in 2014. In 2017 she was appointed composer-in-residence with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
The music of Dobrinka Tabakova has featured in films (Jean-Luc Godard’sAdieu au langage and Le livre d’image), dance (Sydney Dance Company/ Rafael Bonachela Anima and American Ballet Theatre Studio Company/ George Williamson Murmuration) as well as international music festivals including Schleswig-Holstein; Moscow Homecoming; Three Choirs, UK; World Sun Songs, Latvia and Dark Music Days, Iceland. Creative programmers like violist/conductor Maxim Rysanov, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, violinists Gidon Kremer and Janine Jansen as well as Irish DJ John Kelly, Orchestra of the Swan and Sorel Organization have all championed her music over the past decade.
Among prizes for her work are the Jean-Frédéric Perrenoud prize and medal at the 4th Vienna International Music Competition; the prize for an anthem for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, performed at St Paul’s Cathedral, the GSMD Lutoslawski Composition Prize and the Adam Prize of King’s College London. Her Fantasy Homage to Schubert, nominated by the Bulgarian National Radio, was selected at the 2014 International Rostrum of Composers in Helsinki. In 2011 she was awarded first prize and the Sorel Medallion in Choral Composition, New York.
Significant projects include Immortal Shakespeare - a cantata for the Shakespeare 400 anniversary in 2016, The High Line for orchestra, inspired by New York’s park in the sky and the UK New Music Biennial film collaboration PULSE. Tabakova’s recent long-term residency with Truro Cathedral resulted in her second profile album, this time focusing on her choral works. Recorded at Truro Cathedral with the Cathedral Choir and BBC Concert Orchestra for Regent Records, the album received the 2019 Critic’s Choice of Gramophone Magazine and Music Web International. The same year, her Centuries of Meditations was selected by the PRS Foundation as one of the eleven best pieces of British orchestral music from the past 25 years and toured around major UK cathedrals by the City of London Sinfonia.
Other notable residencies have included working with Leipzig MDR Orchestra, Davos Festival and Off the Beaten Path Festival in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains. Her orchestral work Orpheus’ Comet opened the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Music Exchanges of Euroradio and the major commission of her double piano concerto Together Remember to Dance was premiered by Arthur and Lucas Jussen at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw. In 2019, Tabakova’s Timber & Steel was premiered at a special Prom concert celebrating 150 years since the birth of the festival’s co-founder Sir Henry Wood.
Forthcoming projects include a concerto for orchestra as part of Tabakova’s residency with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the set work for the ARD String Quartet competition, a large-scale choral commission for the St Louis Chamber Chorus and a violin concerto for Hugo Ticciati.
Dobrinka Tabakova was born in the historic town of Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1980 and for over 25 years has lived in London. She graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and holds a PhD in composition from King’s College London.